Redecentralize Conference

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I helped run the Redecentralize 2019 unconference in London last Friday.

“Everyone wants to know what happened, but nobody wants to write a report” is an exaggerated version of a familiar refrain at unconferences.  We used etherpads for people to be able make contemporaneous notes (although that was minorly scuppered by poor WiFi access).  So far, nearly a week later, we have 9 reports out of 26 sessions called.  That’s about one in three.  There’s an index of all the sessions called so you can see the range of conversations we had.

So far I’ve seen blog posts from Tantek Çelik and Piper Haywood.

The #redecentralize tag seems to pick up the most from Twitter but #rdc19 was also used.

Ryan put some sterling work into capturing what he could for live streamed video

If you were there and you haven’t blogged about it or added your thoughts to the notes, it’s never too late!

Overall, my take was that interoperability is seen as a more important focus than decentralization for its own sake.  There were conversations about standards, models, public policy and UX patterns.  There was concern in the room about how to deal with personal and group abuse effectively.  There was a healthy mix of light-hearted joking and serious talk about important issues.

There was also a pad of sign-ups to give you an idea of the sorts of people who came.

Back to the beginning

I’ve spent some time this afternoon working out where some of my earliest stuff on the web is.  It’s easy to forget now what it was like, at the turn of the century, to get a web site up and write stuff to it.

The Wayback Machine is a great help, but the archiving runs out for me around the middle of 2002.  My blogger.com profile says I joined that service in February of that year, but the first actual blogpost I can find is from Wednesday, April 23, 2003 .  I kinda remember that there were other posts on that blog – I remember signing up for Blogger in the internet cafe that used to be by Victoria Station (was it easyinternet?).  There’s a whole post to be written about why I called it “Living Dangerously” and there’s no reference to my name beyond my initials.  And I started writing and then deleted everything a few times before that April 2003 post.  There might have been more live at that time, but that’s the earliest one that was crawled.

Before that I seem to have tried out using ntlworld’s homepages as early as August 2002 (that’s who we had broadband from) but there’s nothing there except “My site is being overhauled”.

I must look up when I registered lloyddavis.co.uk – the earliest crawl is May 2002 and that points to pages that were on chilly-hippo.co.uk which provided free webspace.  Even though I had a permanent job at this point with pension and everything, I didn’t like the idea of paying for hosting!

In the period before this, from 1996, I didn’t feel able, as a public servant, to be running my own website and I think my contributions might be limited to things on mailing lists.

Until 1996 I did have a homepage on the University of Surrey Maths & Computing Sciences web-server, but I haven’t been able to retrieve anything from there yet.